"Jesus loves me! This I know for the Bible tells me so," I sang heartily, but without comprehension, as I skipped around the yard. Gradually the simple words of the old children's hymn filtered into my conscious understanding.
Jesus loves me! Me! This song is about me! I am the one Jesus loves. That realization was so overwhelming that I stopped in my tracks and allowed the words of the song to replay slowly through my mind.
“Little ones to Him belong.” Yes, that’s me. I’m a little one. I belong to Jesus. “They are weak but He is strong.” I am little and can’t do very much, But He – That’s Jesus – He can help me. He is strong enough to look after me. A tremendous happiness came over me. I had to tell Mother. I swung around and dashed back into the house letting the screen door slam behind me. My mother was standing beside the kitchen table washing dishes.
“I know what this song means,” I gushed in childish exuberance. “It’s about me.” As I poured out to her my understanding of the song, she turned to look at me, her hands still submerged in the dishwater.
“That’s right,” she said, “That is what it means.” She repeated the words of the song. “That is very important. You must never forget that,” she emphasized. I walked out of the kitchen and through the back porch repeating her words to myself. “That is very important. I must never forget that.”
I never have forgotten. That truth has remained impressed on my mind ever since. Although I had not consciously thought of that momentous moment over the years, it surfaced again in my memory with great clarity when I started recording my childhood memories.
The words of that song first appeared in a novel entitled “Say and Seal,” written by two sisters, Susan and Anna Warner in 1860. In the story, a friend carries a feverish boy around the room. The child asks him to sing. Instead of using a familiar song, Anna wrote the words for a new hymn with special application for the deathly sick boy. The next year William Bradbury, a composer of children’s music, wrote the tune and added the chorus.
Recently I came across a new version of that song, written by Peter Dyck of Warman, Sask. The song begins: Jesus loves me, this I know, Tho’ my hair is white as snow. Tho’ my eyes are growing dim, He still bids me follow Him.”
God has promised, I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior (Isaiah 46:4 LB).
How precious to know that the same Jesus who loved me and protected me as a child loves me now and will continue to be with me, loving me, protecting me, and leading me to ever-higher heights with Him in my senior years.